change font dimension

A- A A+

change layout site

change the site contrast

screen reader

Educational Systems (Country Profiles and Other Tools)

No two education systems are alike. This is why there are different structures, typology of institutions, qualifications and recognition procedures in each country: one element (i.e., qualification, institution, structure) that exists in an educational system of one country may not exist in another, like a post-secondary non-university education sector or an Associate degree. Furthermore, a qualification or an institution may have similar names, but have a different meaning and nature within different national higher education systems. As a consequence, it is essential to know the unique elements of different educational systems in order to be able to evaluate a foreign qualification or to understand the level and the nature of a study programme abroad.

There are two main typologies of information sources on higher education systems:

  • Primary sources: official sources, created by the authorities within a country to officially present their system and
  • Secondary sources: international sources, created by different organisations/institutions (at national/sub-national or international levels) in order to collect information on different higher education systems.

Primary sources of information

In order to obtain verified and official information on national higher education systems, a reliable source of information is the competent national authority in charge of the higher education sector. This could be the Ministry of (Higher) Education, the national quality assurance/accreditation body or an umbrella organisation responsible for the interests of the higher education institutions (e.g. University Grants Commission, Council on Higher Education) ), but also the ENIC-NARIC centres which often are part of or fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education

ENIC-NARIC centres created and maintain their respective country page up-to-date with official information on:

  • National Information Centres
  • National Education Bodies
  • System of Education
  • University Education
  • Recognised Higher Education Institutions
  • Qualifications Framework
  • Quality Assurance in Higher Education
  • Policies and Procedures for the Recognition of Qualifications
  • Diploma Supplement (DS) Information
  • Access to Higher Education
  • Post-secondary Non-university Education
  • Recognition of Qualifications held by Refugees
  • Verification Sources

The Recognition Conventions section of this website (Europe and North America; Asia and the Pacific; Africa; Latin America and the Caribbean; Arab States and Mediterranean Region) provides information on national competent authorities in charge of higher education issues for most countries. Please click on the region of interest and then on "select a country" to access the country of interest.

Secondary sources of information

Considering that some official information is available only in respective national languages, which are often not accessible to the general public, some international organisations, networks, credential evaluation services and ENIC-NARIC centres have created different sources of information (i.e. databases, country profiles, etc.) in order to present different elements of national higher education systems. The majority of these international sources are created to answer national needs, which sometimes includes information influenced by the point of view of the national institution which created it.

Non-exhaustive list of secondary information sources (available free of charge)

Alberta International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) – International Education Guides

Association of International Educators (NAFSA) – Guide to Educational Systems Around the World

ENIC-NARIC Germany (ZAB) – ANABIN Database (DE)

ENIC-NARIC Ireland (QQI) – Foreign Qualifications Database (EN)

ENIC-NARIC Italy (CIMEA) – MAGNA CUM LAUDE: A Worldwide database of University Grading Systems

ENIC-NARIC Italy (CIMEA) – University Systems Database (EN, IT)

ENIC-NARIC The Netherlands (NUFFIC) – Education systems (EN, NL)

ENIC-NARIC Poland (NAWA) – Kwalifikator

ENIC-NARIC Sweden – Portal for Recognition of Foreign Qualifications (SE)


European Commission: Eurydice – The European Encyclopaedia on National Education Systems

International Association of Universities – World Higher Education Database (WHED)

Ministry of Higher Education and Science Denmark – General assessments for specific countries and Database of assessments of foreign education (Danish only)

Nordic National Recognition Information Centres (NORRIC) – Countries and regions (Study Visits) (SE, EN)